In grade twelve, I wrote a story for a competition that centred on a small town in Saskatchewan. It was a fictional story but contained elements of my experience of living there for a few weeks when I was a young teenager. I was surprised when I placed first in Alberta for my entry. Looking back though, I think I can see what the judges saw. I had stepped into the pages of that story with all of my vulnerabilities and teenage angst shining forth. I had been unceremoniously ‘transplanted’ from a serene, quaint, southern Ontario town with all the amenities that I was used to, to a middle of nowhere, dusty hamlet on the prairies, and to make it even more absurd to a soon to be fourteen year old, our house had no indoor plumbing! I was convinced that I had stepped into a time warp and was never coming out! Yet, without writing about those actual horrors, you can feel them hanging in the lines between the story. I’m walking between my words; my transplanted yet refusing to be rooted soul.
As an adult I took on the role of reporter for a local newspaper, a dream I'd had since I'd graduated. I loved all aspects of it, especially the building of a story from the interviews that I did. I also wrote lifestyle columns for various newspapers where I had free reign to play out parts of myself, sharing every day, yet thought-provoking pieces, usually with snippets of humour woven in. I revelled in writing those columns and when someone mentioned something I’d said, my heart sang a song of happiness.
I write poetry still. I’ve found it a lovely and practical tool to express some of my deepest thoughts, hurts and experiences from my life. Each word has to be carefully crafted to mean something and earn its spot. In the process, one has to pay close attention to the carriage of emotions, and how to translate them best. It may look simple on a scrap of paper, sparsely typed in four or five stanzas but it’s a carving out of the heart for me. When I finally sit back, the rythm of the poem is played back for me, like a song.
I also write memoir. It’s in this genre that I journey back into my past, gaining new perspectives, and mining areas of my life that I’d never seen before for new insight; it’s where I grow the most as a person and as a writer. It’s also here that vulnerability becomes so important; there is no well-written memoir without an exposing of one’s soul. And it’s an invitation; in the hopes of being a little more known and helping my reader to get to know themselves just a little more too.
My heart can be found in all of my writing in some way or fashion. And I’m grateful for each reader who meanders with me through my pathway of words.
Gloria writes from Caron, Sk; a small hamlet on the prairies. Along with many published articles andcolumns in various newspapers, she enjoys writing fiction, creative-non fiction, poetry and memoir. Currently she is working on a small poetry booklet about Saskatchewan, along with taking editing classes from Simon Fraser University.